The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) television studios, UDCtv, provides the Washington, DC area with programming geared to foster health, political and environmental awareness. Dr. Katherine Marshall Woods hosts this UDCtv show entitled “A Healthy Mind” featuring guests from a myriad of professions lending information to promote healthy living and lifestyles. Entries entitled: “A Healthy Mind” share these interviews.
On November 23, 2019, Dr. Maia Coleman King, was invited onto the show to discuss the development of mental disorders in children. Dr. Maia Coleman King has dedicated over 15 years within the field, beginning as a school psychologist in District of Columbia Public Schools. Currently Dr. King is a licensed clinical psychologist at the District of Columbia Superior Court Child Guidance clinic. Dr. King earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Howard University, here in Washington, DC. Dr. King enjoys working with families of children who are developing a wide-range of developmental trajectories; and provides support for preschoolers and their families.
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Dr. Marshall Woods: “Hello, my name is Dr. Katherine Marshall Woods, adjunct psychology at the George Washington University, and your host for this edition of A Healthy Mind. The purpose of this video series is to educate and inform the public about mental health, from public policy and environmental factors to the various disorders that affect healthy minds.”
“Mental health disorders affect individuals across the lifespan from adults, seniors, and children. Are there mental health disorders that are frequently identified in childhood? How do we know when such disorders exist? And, how can we help children cope when we learn of the disorder? and it creates challenges in the ability to navigate the world with others.”
“Today, we will discuss these important topics with my guest, Dr. Maia Coleman King. Dr. Maia Coleman King is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified school psychologist who specializes in the evaluation and diagnosis of developmental disorders in very young children. Currently, she is employed with the District of Columbia Public Schools, where she serves as a member on the early childhood assessment team. In this role, she is charged with ensuring that pre-school age children, many of whom are enrolled in their first formal educational experience, are screened, evaluated, and appropriately identified for support services as needed. Dr. Coleman King earned her PhD at Howard University in clinical psychology in 2004. She is also a graduate of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor where she earned a master’s degree in developmental psychology. Dr. Coleman King, Welcome to A Healthy Mind!”
Dr. Coleman King: “Thank you for having me!”
Dr. Marshall Woods: “So tell us a little bit about early childhood disorders, umm, what are they? Let’s start there.”
Dr. Coleman King: “Okay, well there’s a broad range of early childhood disorders and they can start really young, as young as infancy. So, we do have a set of developmental milestones that typically a pediatrician is going to be looking for that’s going to be things like, eye contact, the ability to hold up your head, to sit up, to stand, and eventually walk. So sometimes, even though I’m a psychologist, we still want to know what are those milestones in terms of early achievement so that sometimes they are precursor to later delays. And so, another area that we often look at is speech. So, when does a child begin to mumble or babble? When did they state their first clear comprehensible words? And then, when did they begin to talk in full sentences? So, those are all things that may occur before a child comes to my environment, in a school setting, that we tend to interview a parent to kind of understand were there any precursors that occurred that were already delayed before they entered the school setting.”
Dr. Marshall Woods: “So these delays can really happen well before they even get to pre-school for an example. Which is around the age of four.
Dr. Coleman King: “Yes, actually in the District of Columbia we do have free pre-school for three year olds. So years ago, you know children, well you’re not required to be enrolled in school until you turn five, but there are certain public and charter schools who have three year old classrooms and four year old classrooms. Because, as we know, the earlier that we intervene, the earlier that we begin exposing children to language, letters, colors, numbers the earlier we can make sure that they’re on time in terms of reading, comprehension, and so forth.”
Dr. Marshall Woods: “Mhhm, so you’re mentioning the early milestones; can you talk a little bit about those? You said head lifting or babbling….”
*Please visit https://youtu.be/Mdw8eZoXmlI to see the remaining portion of this interview.*